Greetings Friends of the Prairie,
As with the Lupine and Spiderwort Blooms before it, the Blazing Star (Liatris) Bloom promises to be spectacular this year. Perhaps the rainy cool weather this Spring is the cause. Whatever the cause, the Prairie will soon be awash from one end to the other in lavender spikes. Dozens of other forbs are also blooming in abundance, including the relatively rare Rattlesnake Master pictured below. It is impossible to adequately convey in writing or photos the majesty and mystery of the diverse August blooms at Chiwaukee Prairie. Come out and take a walk on your own or with our naturalist, Kay McClelland (times and dates listed below). Delight in the company of dragonflies and Monarchs. Listen for the unique cries of Sandhill Cranes and watch a flock of Cormorants fly over. Walk north on the gravel road from 2nd Avenue at 121st Street and see how the Prairie is taking back the road, filling it with Rushes and Sedges in the low spots, with grasses and forbs moving in on the sides. The prairie was here for thousands of years before us. With help from all of us, it will continue to be its wonderful self, long into the future!
PRAIRIE PLANT WALKS
Naturalist Kay McClelland will lead Chiwaukee Prairie Walks two or three times a month from May to September. Information includes a little history, a little geology and lots of plant names and facts. During the season, we will look at and identify over 100 different flowering plants, grasses and some sedges. There will be a plant list available each time as well as occasional other handouts.
Late Summer Bloomers: Thursday, August 15, 9-11 AM
Plant Identification: Saturday, August 17, 9-11 AM
Early Fall Bloomers: Friday, September 6, 9-11 AM
Plant Identification: Saturday, September 7, 9-11 AM
Later Fall Bloomers: Thursday, September 26, 9-11 AM
Plant Identification: Saturday, September 28, 2-4 PM
Meet at the intersection of 121st Street and 2nd Avenue. Park on 2nd Avenue. Wear good walking shoes or boots and long pants. Sunscreen, insect repellent for possible ticks, and a hat are wise. We go in light rain but not if there is lightning.
Kay McClelland, Naturalist
Last month, for the first time ever, CPPF canceled the volunteer workday because of an Excessive Heat Warning from the National Weather Service. And it was the right thing to do. At one point that day the temperature in the area of the Prairie reached 104 degrees in the shade. Therefore, we add Excessive Heat Warning to wind chills and temperatures below 10 degrees, lightning, downpours, blizzards or really deep snow on the list of weather that can spoil our fun time on the third Saturday of the month.
From June 10th until August 1st, Chiwaukee Prairie benefited from the work of the six-member team of the Youth Conservation Corps out of the Lake County Forest Preserve District. For several years, the YCC teams have helped us control a variety of invasive species. It is hard work that starts at 6:30 in the morning and goes to 3 PM. They deal with ticks and mosquitoes, wet feet and muddy clothes, in drizzle and in heat, bending all day to pull plants. They do it with good humor and interest in learning. They delight in animal sightings, which this year included a pig up near the railroad! Without their efforts, the Prairie would be overrun by their targeted invasive species. These young people are truly amazing and we are very grateful to this year’s team: Nathan, Ariana, Simone, Alana, Melissa and Hannah.
This Saturday, August 17, we will be gleaning a variety of invasive species including Queen Anne’s Lace, White Sweet Clover, Mullein, Sow Thistle, Bouncing-bet, Common St. Johns-wort and Asparagus. We will be gleaning because the YCC Team has been through the area once or twice to get most of the plants, but late bloomers still threaten the Prairie with their seeds. Gleaning means more walking than pulling and will provide an excellent opportunity to really enjoy the August Prairie.
The prediction is for partly cloudy skies with a south wind and a high of 82 degrees. Wear old clothes, long pants and sturdy shoes or boots. Tick season appears to be over but still consider bug-spray. We supply work gloves, tools, water, instruction and answers to all your questions about the Prairie. We will work unless there is lightning in the area or an excessive heat warning was issued.
The workday is from 10 AM – 1 PM. Come for part or all of it.
We will meet on 2nd Avenue at 121st Street.
Workday cancellations will be posted on our website and Facebook by 8 AM on scheduled workdays. If you are unsure whether a workday will take place, please use good judgment when deciding whether to attend.
(Map of the vicinity at www.chiwaukee.org/about/where/)
If you have questions, email email@example.com or call 773-515-2772.
Thank you for your support,
Chiwaukee Prairie Preservation Fund, Inc.